To improve interaction with channel partners, you have to think of building these relationships as if you’re piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. A thousand different methods can create the chain that links together your missions, motivating your global partners to work smarter and harder for you at the same time.
Planned Interaction with Channel Partners
One of the biggest mistakes suppliers make is blasting their partnership pool with generic messages. Every promotion is not going to be of interest to everyone. Sometimes those messages conflict with a partner’s values or purpose, which hurt relationships and chips away at the trust you’ve already established.
Take advantage of today’s technology to build segmented email and social media lists. Every message you send should be part of a larger campaign aimed at proving you understand your partners’ needs and have enough similarities to work toward a common goal.
For instance, you can create a LinkedIn group for medical device manufacturers and invite your relevant contacts to join. They’ll recognize this invitation as a sign you understand their role in the marketplace. They might also see you as a market influencer, which will go a long way in generating trust in your business.
You can use the group to educate your channel partners on your products, which we know is an essential step in generating repeat business. Additionally, you will learn more about their specific wants and needs. This gives you the ability to specialize your content even further.
The Role of Email in Interaction with Channel Partners
Despite texting and instant messaging becoming more popular among private users, email is still the go-to method for communicating with business partners. According to Smart Office, only roughly 25 percent of B2B emails get opened across the globe. The clickthrough rate – the number of users who click a link in an email and go to another site – varies so widely that experts prefer to average on a country-by-country basis. For instance, the average clickthrough rate in Germany is 24 percent while in the UK, it's only 10 percent.
It pays to research effectiveness from country to country and between industries when creating an email campaign. For instance, 55 percent of people read their emails on mobile devices. Have you ever tried reading an email meant for a browser on your cell phone? It’s frustrating, and statistics show most people won’t bother. Use this kind of information to tailor your campaign to today’s audience and make sure your emails are mobile-ready.
You can break those stats down even further. GetResponse studied open rates by day and hour in the United States. Your message has a 19.9 percent chance of getting opened if you send it on a Tuesday after 12 p.m. Friday is a good day for mailing B2B clients as well. What's the worst time? It should be no surprise there's a dip over the weekend when most buyers are taking a break with the family.
Another report pinpointed the importance of subject lines. Shorter subject lines perform the best, with eight words being optimal. Even the sender's address has a significant impact, so be sure your outbound mail has proper formatting.
Calls to Action are the Key to Increasing Interaction with Channel Partners
Segmenting your lists to treat everyone as an individual and using effective means to contact them are two of the biggest factors in creating tighter channel bonds. However, there is another step to take. If you forget this one, all your campaigns will suffer. You might also leave your partners with a lackluster impression. What is this fairly common mistake putting your marketing investments at risk?
Forgetting to use a Call to Action.
A recent study showed that B2B buyers need six interactions before they're ready to make a purchase. However, with every piece of content and every contact point, you should be using a call to action to move your partners closer to a commitment.
Say you can start with a Facebook Ad tailored to surf shop owners. It’s a video of a family looking from one blank storefront to another. “Help your surf shop stand out. Download our top 10 tips for beating your neighboring competition.”
They might have to give you an email address to download the content. Now you can send an email that says, "Thank you for downloading our guide. Having trouble with competitors creeping up on your business? Join the Surf Shop Pro Solutions group on LinkedIn." They join the list, and you're able to share all kinds of trust-building information with your channel partners, as well as learn more about them.
If you’re struggling to improve positive interaction with channel partners, it might save time and money to get tips from the pros. Get in touch with Incentive Solution and learn the easiest, most effective ways to create bonds and generate future sales.